SkyDrive brand change set amid potential legal battle

Microsoft has decided to skip a battle they'd have had to fight if they'd continued down the road with their cloud storage service SkyDrive amid a call to action by British Sky Broadcasting. That company, also known as BSkyB, planned legal means of ending Microsoft's use of the "SkyDrive" brand name due to conflicts with their own similar naming structure. Initial judgement on the matter saw BSkyB winning out in the England and Whales High Court.

This move will have Microsoft's SkyDrive (and SkyDrive Pro, and whatever else Microsoft has with SkyDrive in its name) switching up its branding rather quickly. It's a "reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand" according to the joint statement from the companies released today.

"According to the settlement, Microsoft will not pursue its planned appeal of this decision and Sky will allow Microsoft to continue using the SkyDrive name for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand. The agreement also contains financial and other terms, the details of which are confidential."

While this may also show signs that the BSkyB ecosystem will have room for a Sky Drive – or some other sort of similar name – for a future cloud-based system, it's more likely that this move was only made in defense. It's not every day you have a brand that's just three letters long, after all.

Microsoft had a similar legal dispute in 2012 when their "Metro" branding of Windows 8 elements was challenged by retailer Metro AG. That dispute ended similarly, with Microsoft only going so far as to re-name the system "Modern UI". It was also challenged that the UI was never named anything, only Windows 8 style – but the ruling remains.